Friday, 28-Apr-23 17:59
Kahenlaisii kuvia

Ei tule mieleen, että olisin viimeisen 20 vuoden aikana tässä blogissa kertaakaan tehnyt levyarvostelua, mutta kerta se on toki ensimmäinenkin. Uusia aluevaltauksia jne.

Virpi Eroman "Kahenlaisii kuvia" on kuitenkin nyt sellainen levy, että pakko sitä on nöyrtyä ja kirjoittaa jotain. Oma avioeroni vuosi sitten tapahtui juurikin samaan aikaan kun tämä Eroman debyyttialbumi ilmestyi, ja kun autoni Spotify alkoi ehdotella biisejä tuolta levyltä, niin pidin sitä oikeastaan jo jonkinlaisena edistyneenä algoritmisena vittuiluna. Jaa että erosit, soitetaan sitten Eromaa. Ero, Eroma, same difference.

Mutta kuuntelin silti. Ja pikkuhiljaa huomasin, että pollajukeboksi alkoi tarjoilla niitä korvamatoina ihan muutenkin. Sävelkulut kun ovat hyvinkin tarttuvat, etenkin kappaleissa Tuhat kilometrii ja Huomenta maailma.

Sitten aloin kuunnella sanoja. Ja voi pojat, että niitä oli. Ei tule äkkiseltään mieleen kovin montaa muuta suomalaista sanoittajaa, jotka osaavat kuvata ahdistuksen, masennuksen, menetyksen, kaipauksen, löytämisen ja uudelleen itsensä löytämisen tunteita kuin Virpi Eroma. Jokainen biisi on kuin pieni, hiottu jalokivi, josta on kivulla hiottu pois kaikki se, mikä ei tee siitä jalokiveä. Eroma onnistui kuvaamaan minunkin avioeron jälkeistä tunnemyräkkääni aivan käsittämättömän osuvasti.

Tiedättehän voimabiisit? Ne, mitä laitetaan soimaan ja sit juostaan Kuusamoon ja takaisin? No, nämä Eroman biisit ovat... sielubiisejä. Ne tulevat istumaan sun viereesi sohvalle ja haluavat kuulla mitä sulle kuuluu, eikä niitä kuunnellessa tunnu siltä, että on yksin. Eroma laulaa suoraan "sielusta sieluun", on ehkä paras kuvaus siitä, miltä minusta tuntuu. Voi olla - ja lienee jopa todennäköistä - ettet koe näitä kappaleita samalla lailla, mutta kannattaa ehkä kokeilla. Elämässä pitää olla uusii kuvii.

Mutta mitäs mitäs - miksi tästä artistista ei ole kuultu aiemmin? Eroma itse selittää albuminsa syntytarinassa, että hänelle sanottiin suoraan, että hän on liian vanha musiikkiteollisuudelle. Eikä hän ole myöskään julkkis, joten "ei kelpaa" teollisuuden raaka-aineeksi. Joten hän käytännössä opetteli itse tuottamaan ja tekemään omat levynsä - sen lisäksi, että sekä kirjoitti, sävelsi, ja soitti omat laulunsa. Pakko nostaa hattua - ja myös sen takia tehdä tämä pikainen arvostelu. Koska jos ei ole systeemin tukea, niin fanien pitää tukea.

Tässä meillä siis on artisti, jolla on ääni, taito ja tarina. Ehdotan tutustumaan - ja toki nappaamaan liput (ehkä) vuoden ainoaan konserttiin 3.5 Tapiolan Louhisalissa.

Elämä ei kysy lupia
Vaan antaa kahenlaisii
Antaa kahenlaisii kuvia.

— Eroma: Kahenlaisii kuvia

Saturday, 15-Apr-23 23:31
Bestest customer service ever by Peak Design

Back in 2015 I saw a Kickstarter project on a new kind of a messenger bag. The company was called Peak Design and they seemed like a nice, albeit a bit hippyish company from California, with a fairly decent bag design. It was a bit expensive, but you could see from everything that they really loved what they were doing, so I figured why not - finding a good bag is always a chore. So I punched in my order and hoped for the Kickstarter to work its magic.

Turns out this was one of the successful ones, and after a few shenanigans involving our beloved Finnish Post Office (who - you guessed it - lost the bag in the mail), and I got mine and it was way better than I expected it to be. It's a bit heavier than you'd expect, but that's because it's designed as a camera bag, so it's got a bit more padding everywhere. And the way you can redesign the interior with movable walls is simply genius. If you've seen me, you may have had to endure some way too wordy praise on the Everyday Messenger bag I've been carrying around for years.

Well, buckle up! (ChatGPT insists that I keep using this phrase whenever I ask it to write a blog post in the "Butt Ugly Weblog style"). There's more wordy praise coming!

This winter the bag finally broke down, with the strap having eaten through the attachment point. I really like the bag and the durability otherwise, so I sent Peak Design a letter asking if they have any spare parts, so I could buy them, and fix and continue using my bag, thank you.

They responded immediately saying that "hey, no worries, just fill a warranty claim and we'll get it sorted out." I thought - a warranty claim? That sounds odd for spare parts, but no worries, I can fill whatever you want.

A bit later I get a message "Sorry about the problem you're having, we'll send you another bag."

I'm floored. The bag is frigging seven years old, and you want to send me a new one? "Yeah, we don't make the exact same one anymore, so we don't have any spare parts, so we'll send you a new bag under lifetime warranty."

I'm more floored than I was before. A lifetime warranty? Seriously? A few days later, I have a spanking, brand new backpack that fits pretty much everything I could need, and which is padded to the max so I can put whatever in it and it's quite safe. It's also filled with a ton of geeky features that make my inner nerd purr very happily, they're climate neutral, and they have a mission I can get behind on.

I know it's a big thing to say, but you know, sometimes you just find a brand that you know you want to stick with for the rest of your life. And Peak Design has just done that by winning me over with their products, quality, warranty and their customer service.

There may be better bags out there. But honestly, I don't need to look further. This thing does everything I want it to do, and I have faith in the company that makes them. So satisfied, I'll continue talking your ears off on this one.

Saturday, 15-Apr-23 12:58
Star Trek Picard is pushing all of my (good) buttons

"That was NOT my fault."

"Hello, chair."

"...the carpet!"

"You have the conn."

Just a few quotes on episode 9 "Võx" that had me cheering, yet don't spoil anything. You'll get them when you see them.

The third season of Picard has been surpassing all of my expectations. Especially since the hapless and weak season two. The pace just keeps increasing, with plot threads seeded decades ago being tied together. The writes (all hail Matalas!) have managed to find a beautiful balance between fan service and an actual plot, and have been able to give meaningful character moments to all actors, who are really excelling in their roles.

Let's just hope that the last episode doesn't ruin everything - as it's not exactly unheard of in Star Trek, such as season two of Discovery - but still, nine out of ten episodes is a pretty darned good result already. This season has been on par, or even above, of the best two-parters in TNG, such as Birthright, Best of the Both Worlds and Chain of Command.

Really looking forward to next week.

Sunday, 02-Apr-23 16:54
I'm not late - I've just been taking my time!

by KimnCris Knight
Over twenty years ago, my friends were raging about this new TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". They had watch parties and they talked about it and there were games around it and all sorts of things. So I was peripherally aware what was going on, and I watched the first season. Hey, geeky friends, so we should share preferences, right?

I tuned out after a few episodes. Monster of the week, teenage girl problems, not particularly funny even. So I left it be, and expected it to be forgotten, just like so many TV series from the 90s.

After a few years, I realized that I had probably been utterly wrong, since many of my friends started to speak about it as if they had found the entire series a defining - even a transformational - experience of their lives. So I got intrigued again, and when both Buffy and Angel became available on direct streaming, I started rewatching them. Then they left the streaming service (Netflix IIRC), so I had to borrow them from the library, which was a chore, and then I was finally able them both when they became available on Disney Plus.

It's a total of about 189 hours of watching, if I counted correctly. It's not something you can easily do these days, with the kids and all, but turns out you can enjoy them quite well while cooking. Just flip the burger during the fight scenes - you won't miss much. All the interesting stuff happens between the fights anyway, since at its core both series were about the interplay between the characters and the big plot was just a backdrop and an interesting reason to throw crap on the character's faces.

I'm now old, so I wouldn't call the series transformational. Entertaining, yes; thought-provoking; sure. Silly? On occasion. But I can certainly see how watching these in my late twenties would've impacted my personal development to a degree: they handled growth, relationships, death ("The Body" anyone?), fears, happiness, belonging, transformation, etc - all packaged in quick-witted parlay between the characters.

Unfortunately it has later emerged that not everything was well during the filming. In fact, things got downright creepy at times. While there is merit in looking just at the series in a detached fashion, I don't think it is the right way in the end. We need to consider also always how things are made, not just the end result.

But the series are still good.

P.S: I really, really liked the way Buffy took music as an integral part of the series. I don't recall very many shows from that time (or even later!) where music has made a serious impression on me - usually it's just background noise, but in Buffy, the score is at times quite profound. I might even call "The Bronze" as a series regular character. The theme continued on Angel, with Andy Hallett as the music-loving demon Lorne. So nice. Good opportunity for comedy as well as the calms between the storms.

Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.

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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.
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